The donning of my scarf and warm jacket and sight of swimmers with wetsuits is to me a heralding in of the winter months and with them, an awareness that cold and flu season is upon us.
Some of my favourite remedies to ward off such ills come in the form of hot brews of herbal infusions. These medicinal herbal teas can not only provide much relief for many cold and flu symptoms but some herbs are actually powerful immune system boosters, helping to destroy the dreaded lurgy even faster.
What’s the difference between a medicinal herbal infusion and just a tantalising tea beverage?
Generally it’s in the brewing time. Medicinal teas are steeped for much longer periods of time to extract the healing benefits from the herbs, whereas a tasty tea is steeped for a short period to retain the perfect flavour of the beverage. With the addition of immune fighting herbs such as garlic, the tasty aspect of medicinal herbal brews can initially leave a little to be desired but that’s just part of their punch.
Try the following blends for different symptoms:
Sweat out a fever and boost your immunity with:
4 grams peppermint
3 grams yarrow
3 grams mullein
1 crushed cinnamon stick
Suppress nausea and headaches with:
4 grams chamomile
4 grams feverfew
4 grams lemonbalm
3 grams lavender
1 knob ginger
Soothe a sore throat with:
4 grams licorice root
4 grams slippery elm
1 knob ginger root
3 grams marshmallow root
1 teaspoon manuka or raw organic honey
Relieve a cough with:
4 grams mullein leaf
4 grams marshmallow flower
4 grams chamomile flower
3 grams thyme leaf
1 stick cinnamon
If you can’t find the loose herbs in a health food store near by, try this infusion packed with anti-inflammatory, immune boosting herbs that will not only open up the airways but liquefy any mucous, making it easier to expel.
1 head of organic Garlic
1 medium hand of organic Ginger
2 or 3 fingers of organic Turmeric
(Chop or blend these)
½ large organic Lemon sliced with skin on.
1 tspn Manuka Honey
¼ seedless Cayenne Pepper
If blending herbs yourself is just not your cup of tea and you live close to Manly…..
The Manly Food Coop in Whistler St has some wonderful loose leaf medicinal blends.
Echinacea boost tea:
Ingredients are: Echinacea, Ginger, Spearmint, Lemongrass, Siberian ginseng
Ingredients are: Astragalus, Echinacea, Lemon myrtle, Siberian ginseng
To any of the above tea blends, add a stick of organic cinnamon for an added cold and flu busting benefit.
Storing Medicinal Herbal Blends
Add the suggested blends to a glass jar in large quantities scaling up the portion sizes accordingly.
Note the herbs you’ve blended
Store in a dark cupboard
To Make the Infusion.
Place 5 tablespoons of blended ingredients in a pyrex dish
Pour in 1 litre boiling water
Steep for ½ hour
Strain the liquid.
Drink liberally during the day, you can reheat or just drink at room temperature.
(You can reuse the leaves and repeat the process a second time if you wish).
Try these fabulous cold and flu busting teas and drink at least 3 cups daily. You’ll not only find relief, but may well develop an innate desire for the fabulous medicinal properties that nature provides in these medicinal brews.
Author: Merrilee Linegar Nutritionist & Herbalist